Keir Starmer Becomes New UK Prime Minister, Promises ‘Country First and Party Second’

Chris Summers
By Chris Summers
July 5, 2024UK

Sir Keir Starmer has officially become the UK’s new prime minister, promising a crowd outside 10 Downing Street he would put “country first and party second.”

After coming directly from Buckingham Palace, where he had an audience with King Charles III on Friday morning and was invited to form a government, the Labour Party leader said the country had “voted decisively for change.”

Sir Keir said, “Public service is a privilege and your government should treat every single person in this country with respect.”

The Labour leader also said, “From now on, you have a government unburdened by doctrine only by the determination to serve your interest.”

Labour won 412 MPs in Parliament after a general election landslide victory which saw 12 Cabinet ministers lose their seats.

Among those who lost their seats was the leader of the House of Commons, Penny Mordaunt, who said, “Democracy is never wrong.”

Earlier the defeated Rishi Sunak, who resigned following an audience with the monarch, announced he would be stepping down as leader of the Conservative Party, setting in motion the fourth leadership contest since 2019.

Mr. Sunak said: “To the country, I would like to say first and foremost, I am sorry. I have given this job my all, but you have sent a clear signal that the government of the United Kingdom must change, and yours is the only judgment that matters.”

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Sir Keir on Labour’s “remarkable victory” and, in a separate post on social media platform X, thanked Mr. Sunak for his “admirable leadership of the UK and your active contribution to deepen the ties between India and the UK during your term in office.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen congratulated Sir Keir, saying on X, “I look forward to working with you in a constructive partnership to address common challenges and strengthen European security.”

France’s President Emmanuel Macron said he was “pleased with our first discussion” and added on X, “We will continue the work begun with the UK for our bilateral cooperation, for peace and security in Europe, for the climate and for AI.”

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote on X: “I wish the incoming government every success both in domestic affairs and in solidifying the UK’s leadership on the world stage.”

“I look forward to working closely together on strengthening the Ukraine-UK partnership and restoring international peace and security,” he added.

Historic Conservative Low

All but two of the 650 seats in Parliament have now been declared.

Mr. Sunak led the Conservatives to a defeat which could see them win their lowest number of seats in the history of the party.

In 1997 the Tories were reduced to 165 seats, but their worst ever result was in 1906 when they won just 156 seats.

On July 4, 2024 they won 121 seats, with many of their losses owing to a surge in support for Reform UK, which came in second in 98 constituencies.

NTD Photo
King Charles III speaks with the new prime minister, Sir Keir Starmer, during an audience at Buckingham Palace, London, on July 5, 2024. (Yui Mok/PA Wire)

Reform won four seats with leader Nigel Farage in Clacton, and party Chairman Richard Tice in Boston, both being elected.

The Green Party won more than a million votes nationwide and won three more seats, ousting Labour’s Thangam Debonnaire in Bristol Central, and gaining Waverley Valley and North Herefordshire from the Tories.

The Liberal Democrats have won 71 seats, while in Scotland the SNP lost heavily, with Labour gaining 37 seats off the Scottish nationalists, ending any hope of a second referendum on independence in the near future.

NTD Photo
Outgoing Conservative Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and wife Akshata Murty leave 10 Downing Street following Labour’s landslide election victory in London on July 5, 2024. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

‘Starmer Tsunami’ in Scotland

The SNP’s leader at Westminster, Stephen Flynn, said the party’s candidates had been overcome by the “Starmer tsunami” and he said it was no reflection on them as people.

Other key results saw Jeremy Corbyn, who was ejected from the Labour Party after refusing to accept a key report on anti-Semitism under his leadership, retain his Islington North seat as an independent.

In Rochdale, George Galloway of the Workers’ Party lost the seat he won at a by-election earlier this year, with Paul Waugh, a political journalist, winning back the seat for Labour.

For the Tories, it was a massive turnaround since December 2019, when Boris Johnson won an 80-seat Conservative majority after promising to “get Brexit done.”

PA Media contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times